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Hand Tools

What’s in a Name?

The Furniture Record - Tue, 01/30/2018 - 10:01pm
mule chestnoun                                                              (from various sources) 
low chest with drawers, mounted on a low frame.
A hybrid form of chest, intermediate between a simple chest and a chest of drawers
A chest commonly wider than it is high and deep. A mule chest has drawers in its base and a hinged top, beneath which there are either two short drawers or one long one.
1 – Although strictly speaking a horse/donkey hybrid, the term ‘mule’ is commonly used to designate many hybrids. The term mule chest arose because it is a hybrid with a combination of drawers and a top-flap compartment.
2 – This design of chest was used by peddlers to transport their goods on a mule. The chests were often used in pairs, one on each side of the mule, and the drawers were used for smaller items, while the trunks held cloth and larger items. The peddler could easily gain access to goods in the drawers without unloading the mule, and could thus accost potential customers even when on the move.
There are as many types of mule chests as there are definitions/explanations. Take these two examples from a recent auction.
First, the fancy:

George III Oak Mule Chest


This lot has sold for $420.

Description: Late 18th century, two-part form, top with hinged lid and applied molded edge, interior with two drawers and secret compartment, upper cabinet with two lipped drawers, lower chest with two cock beaded drawers, on straight bracket feet.

Size: 45 x 44 x 22 in.

Condition: Shrinkage cracks and staining to lid; no key; missing locks; later pulls; shrinkage crack to right side of lower case and small chip near waist drawer.

Kinda a mule chest on chest with bracket feet. The upper three drawers are just applied molding and pulls:


Inside, space, not drawers. There are drawers in the till, but they don’t count.

The drawers in the till were a bit stiff so I did not pursue the search for the hidden compartment as aggressively as I might have.


The drawers are dovetailed so it is truly a quality piece.

Then, there is the primitve nailed version:

New England Painted Mule Chest


This lot has sold for $250.

Description19th century, white pine, red wash, remnants of old blue paint to molded lid, two lipped drawers, raised on bootjack feet.

Size: 37 x 37 x 18.5 in.

Condition: Later red wash; top missing hinges; later foot facing to front.

I would show you the inside but there are no hinges and the lid kept falling off. No till. I can show you this ingenious repair of a sort:


Rodent damage a notch for a power cord? You decide.

And the back:


37″ covered by two boards. And the patch.

Notice, as I have pointed out before, the back is unpainted. They really didn’t care what the wall saw. Of course, it could have been dipped, stripped and repainted.


The pulls seem original but I’m no expert.


And, of course, the drawers are dovetailed.

Tenon shoulder jig for the table saw

Heartwood: Woodworking by Rob Porcaro - Tue, 01/30/2018 - 9:47pm
tenon shoulder jig
This simple jig makes it easy to produce highly accurate tenon shoulders on the table saw. Admittedly, it is a nicety, not a necessity, but I have been delighted with the consistently excellent results from it. The special feature is that both edges of the fence are used, in turn, to register the work piece. […] 0
Categories: Hand Tools

Issue Four T.O.C. – “Entrusted to Our Care: An Interview with Furniture Conservator Christine Thomson”

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Tue, 01/30/2018 - 2:53pm

Tomorrow the last article of the Issue Four table of contents will be announced. Every weekday until the February 1st opening of Issue Four pre-orders, we've been announcing one article from the table of contents here on the blog. If you have yet to sign up for a yearly subscription, you can do so here. 

In producing Issue Four, we were privileged to sit down with furniture conservator Christine Thomson to discuss how conservation theory intersects with her daily shop practice. Christine has been involved in the conservation of historic furniture since her days in college. Her background working for the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (Now Historic New England) and Robert Mussey Associates, Inc. prepared her open her own private practice conservation studio in Salem, Mass. Today, Christine and her assistant, Wenda, focus on finish treatments for historically significant objects and collaborate with woodworkers, upholsterers, and metals specialists to offer comprehensive conservation treatments.

Christine’s also very involved in research into period craft methodology. Her fascination with American “japanned” decoration led her to analyze, document, and catalogue every single known surviving example of “japanned” work made in Boston.


In this in-depth interview, Christine discusses some of the ins and outs of conservation principals such as “reversibility” and “minimally invasive treatment”. It is fascinating to see how these lofty ideals play out in the real world of her private practice studio work. In her microscopic analysis of historic surfaces over the years, Christine has discovered original layers of wax finishes, surprisingly brilliant pigments, and early natural resin varnishes. These findings have led her to experiment with wild period varnish recipes – so wild, in fact, that they are too dangerous to mix indoors.

Christine is one fascinating lady. Her winsome articulations of the conservation profession are well worth hearing out.

You can reserve your copy of Issue Four here.


Categories: Hand Tools

Colonial Williamsburg Working Wood conference

Peter Follansbee, joiner's notes - Tue, 01/30/2018 - 8:50am

I got home yesterday from my trip to Colonial Williamsburg’s Working Wood in the 18th Century conference. Or was it a symposium? This was the 20th year, quite an accomplishment. I had previously attended in 2007; I was especially pleased to be back. Lots of old friends, lots of familiar faces both on stage and in the audience. I took a few lousy photos, but found many on the facebook site from https://www.facebook.com/CWhistorictrades/ – so I “borrowed” many from them. Go to the link to see their whole pile of photos; they got good ones.

First thing I noticed upon loading my gear into the auditorium was that I had left my green wood billets at home. If there is anyplace you can go & expect to get green wood upon asking, Williamsburg is it. One of the carpenters’ crew found me some white oak that was so good that it needed no hewing when I split it. So I showed the camera just how flat the good stuff is when it splits:



The Williamsburg woodworking crowd; Kaare Loftheim, Bill Pavlak, Ted Boscana, Garland Wood, and my old cohort Brian Weldy all had presentations. Here’s Brian & Bill during the tool chest presentation…

And Kaare Loftheim showing the saw till under the lid of a tool chest the crew worked on several years back:

Ted Boscana and his crew of apprentices went through the steps to make some architectural moldings, including some crown/cornice molding. I didn’t get a shot of it, but there was a great demo of the apprentices pulling Ted through the air as he provided the weight to push down on the plane.

Ken Schwartz, the master blacksmith, led a presentation showing through slides and video how a drawknife and axe were made, then he had members of the coopers’ and wheelwrights’ shops briefly show the tools in use. Here’s a shot showing the axe “bit” and the eye/head:

For me, one great highlight was seeing W. Patrick Edwards’ presentation on Sunday morning.

His introductory story about an abrupt change of career early on in his life made me grin from ear to ear. If you get a chance to see Patrick as a presenter, jump. http://wpatrickedwards.blogspot.com/2017/09/the-risk-of-living-as-process-of-life.html

Don Williams de-mystified finishing on Sunday – (yes, it finished with finishing) – Don made it so accessible that I wanted to try some, instead of my usual cop-out linseed oil. http://donsbarn.com/the-barn/  His demonstration of the winding sticks-with-feet was especially good.


Jane Rees is often a fixture at the Williamsburg conference,and it was great to catch up with her again. So many historic tool questions were diverted from the audience to the stage, then down to the front row with “I don’t know, let’s ask Jane”  http://www.reestools.co.uk/books/

Jane understood when she heard I ducked out for half a day to go see eagles on the James River.

and then there was Roy Underhill. Do I have to say anything? Keynote speaker, moderator of a discussion panel, all around helpful schlepping on & off stage, native guide around CW; and poker-of-sacred-cows. When Roy is around, I stick close, because something worth seeing is going to happen.

My presentation was sponsored by EAIA; other sponsors were SAPFM and Fine Woodworking. My thanks to them for helping make it happen.

On any of my southerly trips, I try to get over to see my greatest friends; Heather Neill and her wife Pat. It’s always too much fun in too short a time when we visit. Here’s a sampling of Heather’s work, both painting & writing:  http://heatherneill.com/studio-blog/2017/07/18/in-my-element/ 

Her Instragram is here https://www.instagram.com/hnartisan/

I woke up to this idyllic sight today. Won’t make it to working in the shop today…but tomorrow I will.

Barn Workshop – Make A Petite Dovetail Saw

The Barn on White Run - Tue, 01/30/2018 - 6:03am

In recent years my projects and inclinations have guided me towards more diminutive work in thinner stock.  This makes cutting dovetails somewhat of a challenge when using a standard saw, which is often too aggressive and thus harder to control effortlessly.  As a result of that I began exploring the prospect of fabricating my own petite dovetail saw.  I wound up making several with good-to-excellent results.  We will replicate that process and send you home with your own.

If you have a particular piece of wood to use for the handle (tote) feel free to bring it to work with.  Otherwise I will provide all the materials for this workshop.  We’ll aim to fold and finish the back, taper and insert the plate/blade, fit and fashion the handle to your hand, and file the teeth.

The tool list for the workshop is a short one and will be sent to attendees well before the event.


The complete 2018 Barn workshop schedule:

Historic Finishing  April 26-28, $375

Making A Petite Dovetail Saw June 8-10, $400

Boullework Marquetry  July 13-15, $375

Knotwork Banding Inlay  August 10-12, $375

Build A Classic Workbench  September 3-7, $950

Noch eine Zinkensäge - Another Dovetail Saw

Two Lawyers Toolworks - Tue, 01/30/2018 - 4:47am
Ebenholzgriff, Neusilberrücken Blatt: 0,4 mm stark, 254 mm lang, 43 mm tief, 17 tpi Längsschnitt Ebony handle, German silver spine Blade: 0.0016" thick, 10" long, 1-3/4" deep, toothed at 17 tpi rip   Klaus Kretschmarhttp://www.blogger.com/profile/02622505818172828845noreply@blogger.com0
Categories: Hand Tools

Hey Schwarz, Are You Chinese? | Lost Art Press

Giant Cypress - Tue, 01/30/2018 - 3:08am
Hey Schwarz, Are You Chinese? | Lost Art Press:

Christopher Schwarz:

When I entered fifth grade at Woods Elementary, my teacher asked me in front of the class if I was Chinese. When I replied, “I don’t think so,” Mr. Williams shrugged his shoulders.

“Dark hair, dark eyes, dark skin and good at math,” he said. “Seems like Chinese.”

Terrible thing to say, especially coming from a teacher. But for the record, I think being Chinese is pretty awesome.

feeling like crap......

Accidental Woodworker - Tue, 01/30/2018 - 12:27am
I started to get a headache round about noon-ish today. It is one of those annoying ones that hovers on the periphery deciding what it wants to be when it grows up. It would throb a little for a while and then fade away. Off and on all afternoon and when I got home it settled behind my eyes. It almost kept me out of the shop and it did shorten the to do list significantly.

left over 044 parts
I picked out the best ones and put them on the plow I'm giving to Miles.

I had buffed the nickel plating on the fence and the top of the plane yesterday. I didn't make me say wow.  It was more of a humph. The rods I wiped down with 4-0 steel wool and the nickel on the screws and such I'm leaving as is. I don't think I would raise any appreciable shine with the rouge I have. I will make a pit stop at Harbor Freight this weekend and get some rouge and a new buffing wheel.

had to do some rearranging
My submarine training paid off again. I haven't lost my touch with putting 20 pounds of crap into a 5 pound test bag. I don't have any more toolboxes or planes to put in here so this is pretty much carved in stone.

giving both of these to Miles
I was thinking of making holders for the both of these and attaching them to walls in the bottom above the planes. I'm not sure I have the room for that now that I have rearranged things. I will check it out this weekend if I remember it.

the final resting places of all the toys
6 coats of shellac
It darkened up like I expected and obscures most of the grain on the tote (except at the top) and all of the knob.

scraped the primer off the frog seat
bottom came off pretty easy too
I used the Harbor Freight heavy duty scrapper at the bottom.

painting the lettering and numbers
I don't want to have any paint pool in the letters/numbers so I over brushed this area checking for that. I came back and stroked it a bit more with a dry brush after the paint had set up for a few minutes or so.

This will need coat #2 tomorrow but the frog and the yoke will be done. I put the second coat of black on them tonight.

10 1/2
I did a full blown, sand, strip, and paint rehab of this last year or was it the year before? I didn't hand paint the plane, instead I had prayed it. It is has a dull matte look and it needs some shine there. I am not going to repaint and the first step towards shiny will be cleaning it first.

then I'll wax it
I will take the knob and tote off to apply the wax and get rid of the interference when I buff it out. I think this paint has had plenty of time to cure. I shouldn't have any problems applying wax to it now.

another plug for Autosol
I used Autosol on this way back when I finished the rehab. I haven't applied any since and I have used this several times to make rabbets. It still looks good and this is where I ran out of gas for the night.

The plan was to get this waxed and buffed tonight and call it done. The #3 might need some painting. I can't remember how far I went with the rehab on that one. I did it several years ago so I probably didn't strip and paint it. Checking that one out will have to wait until tomorrow or possibly the day after.

Blogger bit me on the arse again. I published two comments, one from Sparks, and another from Steve, and both ended up in a black hole somewhere. I can't access the comments for this blog post at all. It's annoying to me that I don't know what causes the comments to freeze like this and lock me out of them. So my apologies Sparks and Steve, I think they got published but I can't respond to them

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Did you know that Mort Walker drew the Beetle Bailey comic strip for over 50 years? (he passed away today at age 94)

A Book of Probable Benches

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Mon, 01/29/2018 - 6:11pm

corsica IMG_9465

My next book, “Ingenious Mechanicks: Early Workbenches & Workholding,” is about one-third designed. As with all my books, it is wrestling with me like an alligator in a vat of Crisco.

Suzanne “The Saucy Indexer” Ellison has turned up a number of new images of old workbenches recently that have reinforced and nuanced some of my findings and conclusions about early workbenches.

The image at the top of this blog entry is not one of them.

Suzanne plowed through about 8,000 images (a conservative estimate) for this book. And some of the images were dead ends, red herrings or MacGuffins.

In the image above (sorry about the low quality), we have a bench that is off the charts in the odd-o-meter. It is from Corsica, sometime between 1742-1772, and was painted by Giacomo Grandi, who was born in Milan but lived on Corsica.

Here’s what is strange:

  • It is a low workbench with the screw-driven vise perhaps in the end of the bench. Or the benchtop is square. Either way, that’s unusual.
  • The screw vise has only one screw and one vise nut.
  • The vise’s chop is weird. It is longer than the bench is wide.
  • The chop is being used in a manner that simply doesn’t work (I tried it on one of our lows benches). This arrangement offers little holding power.

So instead of saying: “Hey look we found a bench that makes you rethink end vises,” we are instead saying: “Hey I think this bench is the result of the painter trying to create a workbench to assist his composition.”

tilting IMG_9452

As I am typing this, Suzanne and I are trying to figure out if we’ve found a tilted workbench from Corsica that is similar to Japanese planing beam. Or if it’s a victim of forced perspective. Or something else.

At times such as this, I can see how a book could fail to be published. There is no end to the research, the new findings or the greasy alligators.

— Christopher Schwarz

Categories: Hand Tools

What Do You Call This?

Paul Sellers - Mon, 01/29/2018 - 6:05pm

In silence they smiled. Uncommon, occasional and always silently. It was the silence somehow that spoke the most-the inaudible loudness of it that loudly spoke of an inordinate joy and the funny thing about it was this. In the silence of that occasional, uncommon smile, others around knew about it, shared in it and it […]

Read the full post What Do You Call This? on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

The Desk Project – The Prototype

The Barn on White Run - Mon, 01/29/2018 - 4:01pm

It’s been more than four months since I last wrote about my project to interpret an early 19th century writing desk for a client, when I had the opportunity to use period appropriate technology for virtually the entire project.  Previously I had written about deriving the design templates for the project, and this post will finally get down to fashioning wood.

My first problem(?) was that I was a bit hazy on some of the internal construction details of the original.  To resolve that void, or to at least come to a workable conclusion, I needed to build a full scale prototype.  Using some left over 2x SYP from a workbench-building  project I did just that.  I rough cut each leg element with a bandsaw (this was primarily a proportion and joinery exercise) then shaped them just enough to get the gist of the idea.

Then with each individual element fashioned I dove into the joinery for the complete leg assembly, with frequent dry fittings.

Using PVA I glued up each leg.

In the end I had two leg assembles shaped and fashioned, and joined, glued, and assembled.  This was an important moment as I  exerted my full weight on each individual leg to make sure they would hold.

They did.

Issue Four T.O.C. – Vic Tesolin – “Axes in the Workshop”

The Mortise & Tenon Magazine Blog - Mon, 01/29/2018 - 1:14pm

Every weekday until the February 1st opening of Issue Four pre-orders, we will be announcing one article from the table of contents here on the blog. If you have yet to sign up for a yearly subscription, you can do so here. 

Axes are often thought of as tools for firewood but I can assure you that they're not just for rough splitting. In my shop, I have three axes that get used often for shaping and material prep. The key to understanding these tools is to have a grasp on how to sharpen and maintain them. Couple this with some simple techniques and a chunk of tree to work on and you will be surprised with the level of work that can be done.

It only takes a few swipes of a jack plane to straighten out the axe work and bring the board to final size. Choosing to use this tool boils down to efficiency. Whether you are carving spoons or making furniture, I think every shop should have an axe or two. Axes may seem mysterious if you have little experience with them, but they’re nothing to be afraid of. Once you have your axes good and sharp I promise you will look at them differently.

- Vic Tesolin

You can reserve your copy of Issue Four here.


Categories: Hand Tools

Oak Writing Desk

Anne of All Trades - Mon, 01/29/2018 - 12:11pm
Screen Shot 2018-01-26 at 3.44.35 PM.png

I'm really excited to be working with Marc Spagnuolo, the Wood Whisperer to create in-depth content for his online woodworking guild. If you've been following me or my blog for a while, you may remember an oak writing desk I built with my good friend Jonathan at Homestead Heritage in Waco, Texas. Since I will be modifying and expanding the original design for the desk over the next couple of months and documenting the process for the Guild, I thought I'd share the original article I wrote about the experience building the chest at Homestead Heritage for F&C magazine. Click here to read the whole article.  


Take Some Ugly Pictures, Too

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Mon, 01/29/2018 - 3:53am

Late in 2015, Joshua Farnsworth and I traveled to Hancock Shaker Village to film the openings of a couple videos. While there, I measured and photographed the two projects in detail with the intention of reproducing them as accurately as possible.

While I was holed up in the brick dwelling that day measuring and taking pictures of the projects, Josh wandered around the village taking pictures and video.

When we got back to the hotel that night we looked over the pictures we had taken. Josh’s stuff was great. He has a good eye, and Hancock is a beautiful place. My pictures, on the other hand, looked pretty lame in comparison. The photos were of the insides and undersides of the two projects. Mostly, tool marks of all kinds, intersections of joints, writing, mistakes (yes, the Shakers screwed up, too) nails, screws and layout lines. Most people would not even know what the pictures were of. I was trying to photograph how the pieces were made.

IMG_0849 (2)

An early 19th century Shaker chest of drawers at Hancock made of butternut and white pine that I documented in 2017.

As time goes on, I find these ugly photos provide more and more information on a project than I realized. Whenever I look back over these pictures I always see things I did not notice when measuring the actual artifact.

Today as I was reviewing the ugly pictures I had taken on my last trip to Hancock of a chest of drawers that I am preparing to build, a little tidbit of information showed up.


This is a photo of one of the drawer joints from the chest above.


Same joint as above zoomed in a bit. Look at the the two photos of the drawer joint, what do you see? Hint: Has to do with the order which the joint was cut.

I said all that to say this: Ff documenting a piece of furniture, take the time to measure accurately and take good overall photos of the piece. Most of all, take lots of high-resolution photos of the insides and undersides of the piece. When it comes time to build, you will find yourself referencing the ugly photos more than anything else.

— Will Myers


Categories: Hand Tools

I just visited Tokyo and was near Tokyo Big Sight, a large convention center in the Ariake area. In front of the building is a huge statue of a hand saw - a western saw. Any idea what is up with that?

Giant Cypress - Mon, 01/29/2018 - 3:38am

I can only conclude that this is an indication of what should be done with western saws — bury them in the dirt.


Just kidding, of course. This is a sculpture by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen, titled Saw, Sawing. According to their statement:

Coosje found the saw appropriate to the cross-cut effect of the layered construction surrounding the site. Also, the teeth of the saw would continue the triangular motif of the buildings. 


Since the Western saw is not a tool used in Japan, we hoped that this common object, detached from its function, would become mysterious in its foreign context, subject to surprising new interpretations of its identity.

(Photo from Tokyo Fotos.)

tool rehab day......

Accidental Woodworker - Mon, 01/29/2018 - 12:38am
I ended up doing rehab work for most of the day. I hadn't planned on that, it just happened. My hands weren't hurting too bad and all the finger work I was doing wasn't bothering me. So I went with the flow and did what I could because I never know when they will start singing arias. I also changed the rehab schedule. I was going to do the #7 and #8 after I got done with the two I have in the queue now. I switched that to the 10 1/2 and the #3 being next. Why? I use them more than I use the #7 and #8.

what is the white line?
I am not getting any jamming under the chipbreaker but I still want to know what that white line is. Is it a gap between the chipbreaker and the iron? I flattened the back of the iron and I stoned the back edge of the chipbreaker. So two flats should equal zero light, right?

back of the chipbreaker
The edge is shiny and consistent in width side to side. The white line I see I thought was light being reflected off of this but it isn't. I shined a light at the front I can see that for about half of the width. I have a gap but I still am not getting jamming? Why?

I can close it
With almost no finger pressure on the chipbreaker, I can close the gap. When I do that and shine the flashlight on the front, I see no light under the chipbreaker and no white line.

the third part
The lever cap is providing the final bit of pressure on the chipbreaker to close the gap. I checked 5 of my spares and all five of them have a gap I can see when the flashlight is shined on the front. I do not have a problem with any of these jamming or getting shavings under the chipbreaker. Some of them have questionable flattened iron backs but all have a good stoned edge on the chipbreaker (similar to the one above). So the lever cap must be what is closing it when I use them.

5 1/2 tote
Scraped and sanded up to 320 grit. This will turn dark once the shellac goes on. I like this lighter unfinished look because I can see the grain. The shellac tends to hide that.

scraped the knob
The finish on this wasn't shellac and I'm guessing it was lacquer.

the grain runs up/down
Most of the ways I have seen this done is via the dill press. I have done them in the drill press too but I don't do that anymore. Sanding them in drill press means your are sanding across the grain. I opted to scrape and sand the knob with the grain.

scraped and sanded up to 320
The whole operation on the knob took less than 10 minutes to do. Both of these are ready for shellac. I will brush on the first two coats and then I will spray on 3-4 more after that.

problem area on the 5 1/2
This area doesn't have any japanning and it is incredibly difficult to clean and sand to bare metal in this area.

part of my Harbor Freight road trip
I got these to scrape all the areas I can't sand and get my fat fingers in.

got a buffer on sale for $45
I had a $20 off coupon and I got the upgraded warranty on this. In the first 90 days if this goes south they will give me a new one. After that she said they will fix it which means they will give me another one then too.

replenished my brushes
These were all on sale and I needed them. I go through at least one steel and one brass brush on each plane I rehab. The brass ones especially don't last too long.

filed the edge until I rolled a burr
it worked
I was able to scrape the rust away down to bare metal. The burr didn't' last too long but it worked. I had to make a fresh burr a few times to complete these two spots.

Autosol test
According to the writing on the tube this stuff cleans, shines, removes rust, and protects a lot of different kinds of metal. I don't think it shines all that much and I'm going to find out if I'm right or wrong. This is the before pic.

it definitely cleaned this
You apply this with a rag and then wipe and buff it right away.

I don't see a difference
I think for this to shine it would have to be a 'wow' moment to get my attention. It didn't say wow but I do know that this stuff protects. I had used Autosol on this about 4-5 months ago and it still looks good.

LN #4 1/2
I have never used Autosol on this before and it has some rust blooms on this side at the toe.

a few dabs of Autosol
 It doesn't take a lot and this is probably too much.

It didn't completely remove the rust blooms but it did it justice and got 95% of it. I give it a C+ on the shine and an A on cleaning. This is good stuff and worth having in the shop to put on your tools.

I don't see much of a shine raised
buffer set up
I'll try this out on the 5 1/2 rehab with the lever cap first.

first application of stripper
what I use to clean the stripper off the plane
shop apron
I have 3 of these and I can count on one hand and still have fingers free, the number of times I've worn any of them.  On the last rehab I got the dust from the sanding in my pants and it stunk worse than a pair of gym socks forgotten in a locker for ten years. I'll try to remember to wear this and keep my street clothes clean. At least when I'm rehabbing tools.

tried the scraper on the plane
The scraper worked pretty well with getting the remaining japanning off. I had 4 sizes to pick and choose from.

2nd and 3rd applications
The stripper doesn't stick and work well on vertical parts of the plane. I stripped this side first and then did the other one. The two other vertical spots are the cross brace in front of the mouth and the back of the frog seat. Extra work but I don't have a sandblaster to help out.

sanded with 80 grit paper  and cleaned with acetone before the primer gets sprayed on -
extra screws/studs to cover the holes

I had to stuff a bit of paper towel in the frog adjust screw hole because I don't have an extra one of those.

for the frog seat
I have used this before with good results. I coated the frog seat and the two bare areas at the bottom by the mouth.

 I fixed the 044
The first 044 with the new fence on it didn't work. It will plow a groove but not with the fence up against the edge. I could keep the back heel of the fence there but the toe wandered off to the left away from the edge. Nothing I tried changed that. I then ran 3 grooves with the new 044 without any hiccups.

removed the grooves from test run #1 for a second run
ran 4 more grooves
I did the first one starting at the left and working back. I did the next 3 by starting at the right and going to the left. No problems with plowing the grooves. No problem keeping the fence tight against the edge. Much joy and rejoicing in Mudville with dancing in the streets.

I did have one problem
The depth shoe slipped on me.

the last groove
I plowed it so deep it met the bottom of the other groove and planed this piece right off.

I'm happy with this
The grooves are parallel to the edge from the toe to the heel. The second plow plane is working as expected.

first one on the left, the replacement on the right
I wish this was the opposite of what I'm keeping. The first 044 has better nickel plating then the right one. I think the problem with the first 044 is definitely the front hole wasn't drilled 90° to the body. . The rods on the 2nd 044 are both square to the body once I tighten the screws on the rod.

The first 044 is stowed away on top of the finishing cabinet.  I will use the rods from it with the new 044. The 2nd 044 has two different sized diameter fence rods whereas on the first 044 the two are the same. I will use the plane as it is and hold off on getting replacement rods. I am leaning in the direction now that the rods are designed this way. Maybe it was done this way because of manufacturing practices at that time.

both planes have the same Record design number
On the heel of the skate is a Record design number but the iron clamps are different. Everything else on the two plows are the same except for this and what follows.

why it slipped
The rods on the depth shoes are different diameters. I would expect these having the same design number that they would be identical. Maybe this is why it slipped but it also could have slipped because I didn't tighten down the screw enough.

cleaned, degreased, and rinsed
I will give these small parts an EvapoRust bath. I stopped at Home Depot to get some Rem oil but I couldn't find it. The Plane Collector uses that on his small parts and he said he gets it from HD. I asked the tool guy there and he said he never heard of the stuff. I'll stick with my oil regimen for now.

something odd
I just noticed this about the lever cap for locking the iron. See it?

just the rounded end is nickel plated
It is looking like I'll have a couple of tools rehabbed this upcoming week. The 5 1/2 will be ready for paint tomorrow and the Record 044 should be ready too. I just have to rinse the small parts, buff the ones I can, and put it together. The 4 1/2 should go as quick as the 5 1/2 is but we'll see.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Did you know in the original story of Cinderella, her slippers were made of fur and not glass? (It was a translation error from the story's original french to english)

Tenon shoulder trimming jig, revised

Heartwood: Woodworking by Rob Porcaro - Sun, 01/28/2018 - 6:34pm
tenon shoulder jig
Tenon shoulders must meet stringent standards to produce a good joint – straight, at the correct angle to the length of the rail (usually 90°), accurately paired on both sides of the joint to meet the surface around the mortise, and in position to make the length of the rail fit the overall structure. Thus, […] 0
Categories: Hand Tools

Podcast: The Afterlife of Trees

Chris Schwarz's Pop Wood Blog - Sun, 01/28/2018 - 6:54am

Popular Woodworking Magazine has just a launch a new podcast that…. Wait, wait. Where are you going? Give me a few moments to explain. Look, we know the woodworking world has enough podcasts. So when Scott Francis decided to create “The Afterlife of Trees,” a lot of the discussion was about what the podcast wouldn’t be about. It’s not shop talk. It’s not answering the questions of listeners. It’s not […]

The post Podcast: The Afterlife of Trees appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: Hand Tools

Podcast: The Afterlife of Trees

Lost Art Press: Chris Schwarz - Sun, 01/28/2018 - 6:51am


Popular Woodworking Magazine has just a launch a new podcast that….

Wait, wait. Where are you going? Give me a few moments to explain. Look, we know the woodworking world has enough podcasts. So when Scott Francis decided to create “The Afterlife of Trees,” a lot of the discussion was about what the podcast wouldn’t be about.

It’s not shop talk. It’s not answering the questions of listeners. It’s not about the projects we’re working on or discussion of our favorite tools. All those are great topics for podcasts that already exist. But the world doesn’t need another one of those.

AoT_logoSo what is “The Afterlife of Trees” about? It’s about stories.

Of you like shows such as “Radio Lab,” “This American Life,” “Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History” or “Stuff You Missed in History Class,” you might like this podcast. We want to tell the stories behind the craft. And if they’re a little odd, then all the better.

In the first episode we tell the story of Eugene Sexton and our efforts to publish an article about his miracle process called ESP-90. This process allowed Sexton to (among other things) dry wood quickly without it checking. In other words: It didn’t matter of the pith of a tree was in the board – it wouldn’t crack.

Many people have dismissed Sexton. But perhaps there is something to ESP-90. We have some wood treated with the process that are puzzling and seem to defy the rules of wood movement. Oh, and we discuss the “green bean of immortality.”

You can download the podcast for free via iTunes.

I’m not sure when the next episode will be. But we’ll let you know here when it’s up.

— Christopher Schwarz

Categories: Hand Tools

slow saturday.......

Accidental Woodworker - Sun, 01/28/2018 - 1:51am
My arthritis has been acting up more lately and today it curtailed my saturday doings. It doesn't hurt much unless I bang or jam a finger. I especially see stars when I hit either of my thumbs. I can deal with the ping and work through it. What I'm having difficulty working with and around is the lost of strength. For some  woodworking tasks it doesn't matter but when you have trouble picking up your coffee mug.....and I drink coffee 24/7/365.

got my drawer slides
Both the drawer and the bottom tray are on the large side so wooden guides are out. I got 75lb, full extension drawer slides. I doubt that I will come close to this rating on the bottom tray with all the tool boxes that will be in it. And I know I won't even get to a 1/3 of the weight rating on the drawer.

for the top drawer
for the bottom sliding tray
I still haven't realized that these aren't what I think they are.

how are these tabs used on a sliding tray?
when in doubt read the instructions
What I called bottom mount drawer slides is this. I thought that what I ordered were drawer slides that mounted underneath the slide out tray. These slides still mount to the sides of the cabinet and I lose 2 plus inches side to side that I don't want to. I wanted under mount slides so I maximize my side to side to allow the toolboxes to fit. I'll have to figure out what I want, is called.

These slides are meant to be used in a vertical application. I could put them horizontally underneath the tray but I lose the benefit of the ball bearing action. The weight and force will be downwards where as the ball bearings will be acting horizontally on air basically.

how it is attached
I will use this one for the drawer and I'll save the one I bought for that for something else. Now I'll have to search for tray slides(?).

#4 tote
I scraped the epoxy spills off. Almost all of them were around the glue line.

first coat of shellac
It already looks like I never scraped this down to bare wood. I will put on 3 more and this will be done.

thinning the handle
I like the semi oval, tapered handle on this pigsticker. However, it is just too fat front to back. I have big hands and I didn't like the grip I had with it. It was hard to hold securely and chisel with it. I will keep the shape of the handle as it is but I will concentrate on removing wood at the front and rear and minimize removal on the sides.

my cue
The handle overhangs the bolster all around. I will even the bottom of the handle with that and taper it back up to the top of the handle.

feels a lot better
My thumb reaches and touches my fingers now.

getting closer
I think this improved the sighting of the chisel. BTW I think the handle is made out of beech. It looks like the beech I have in my stash.

made another quick mortise
The business end of the chisel has been sharpened with a rounded bevel. I prefer a straight one so it'll be a while before I get that.  I did a quick run on the stones to raise a burr and then I chopped this. I didn't do any layout lines, I just chopped it free hand. Doing this mortise with the thinned handle felt better then the one I did first with the fat handle.

changed the barrel nut twice
I don't like this being recessed this far down.

used my last Bill Rittner barrel nut - not much better
5 1/2 is in the batting circle
I have already rehabbed this plane. I have done everything on this one I did on the previous two with the exception of painting the frog and plane interior and refinishing the knob and tote.

the sole
I don't remember when I did this but it still looks good. Sanding and polishing the sides and the bottom is the hardest part of the rehab work. I shouldn't have to do anything more than touch it up with 400 and 600 grit after the stripping and painting is done.

the state of the japanning
It has some loss at the heel and toe with a few spots on both cheeks too. The frog is worse than I remember it being.

clean and degreaser action first then stripper
need some more sanding sticks
Paul Seller has used these but I made some only after seeing the Plane Collector make and use them. They are handy little gizmos to have when sanding the various plane parts.

made a pile
I made most of these with one free edge mostly because I was having problems with holding the sandpaper in place as the glue set on four edges. Two of the longer ones on the left I will cut in half. I tried to make dowel sanding stick but I'm not sure about it. I didn't get the sandpaper to go 360 so it may turn to burnt toast on my first use with it.

This is where I packed it in for the day. I went upstairs and caught up on the Hall Table video series that Richard Maguire is doing . After that I put in Joshua Kleins's DVD on building a table.  I'll have to watch that one again because I fell asleep while it was running and woke up when it was done.

accidental woodworker

trivia corner
Did you know that Uncle Tom's Cabin (published in 1852) was the first American novel to sell over a million copies?


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